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Commentary
October 5, 2011

Quality Indicators for Older Adults: Preventing Unintended Harms

JAMA. 2011;306(13):1481-1482. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1418

Quality indicators are quantitative measures used to evaluate the quality of health care. They are often based on clinical practice guidelines and are designed to encourage effective, evidence-based care.1 Quality indicators are becoming increasingly important, with Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and commercial managed care plans implementing pay-for-performance programs that tie reimbursement to these indicators. However, for medically complex older patients, there are concerns that closer adherence to current quality indicators may lead to unintended harms.1-3

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